Thinking through the unintended and/or intended consequences of State Rep. David McSweeney’s bill to provide McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks with line item veto power, I’ve come up with come up with another possibility.
Remember how Franks wanted to put a referendum on last fall’s ballot to abolish the County Auditor as an independent check and balance on the rest of county government?
The Northwest Herald ran an article on Franks’ proposal in which his preferred choice to replace the retied Pam Palmer was CPA Nancy Gonsiorek.
The former Crystal Lake Grade School Board member had agreed to serve through the end of Palmer’s term.
And, on the GOP ballot in the Republican Party Primary Election, she agreed to step down from that endeavor.
Franks argued that the Auditor could be replaced with an Inspector General appointed by, guess who?, Franks-compliant County Administrator Peter Austin.
That effort, led by Board member Jim Kearns, was squashed by supporters of Palmer’s wholly qualified Shannon Teresi.
A couple of line item vetoes to Teresi’s budget might make it very difficult for her to perform her statutory duties.
She could become a toothless tigress.
Then there is the other woman that Franks has gone after—Leslie Schermerhorn.
She serves as McHenry County’s elected Regional Superintendent of Education.
Besides thinking the office should not exist, Franks covets her office space to house the expansion of his empire.
But his interaction with Schermerhorn pretty much proves he does not need line item veto power.
Franks decided to cut her budget last fall and succeeded.
He convinced a majority of the County Board to make the cut he advocated.
But with a line item veto, he could everything but her salary.
That would effectively abolish the office.
Going after strong women who oppose him is perfectly consistent with what Franks and his allies have done since he took office.
Besides the attacks on Teresi and Schermerhorn, remember the anonymous leaflets attacking Board member Donna Kurtz, who decided not to run for re-election, and the Illinois Integrity Fund mailings against former Board member and candidate Ersel Schuster?